Final count in on Ketchikan head tax

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2001

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- With all the votes counted, a proposed tax initiative in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough has failed.

In Tuesday's special election, 63 percent of registered voters opposed a $5 fee on cruise ship passengers visiting its port.

The proposed fee called for up to 50 percent of the revenue generated to be earmarked for vocational education. The remaining funds would have been targeted for improvements to visitor-related infrastructure.

Opponents of the fee questioned whether the revenue generated could be used to help fund vocational education. The group also feared cruise lines would bypass Ketchikan altogether.

John Hansen, executive director of the North West CruiseShip Association, said the cruise line industry is pleased that the initiative failed. He said it confirms the positive working relationship between the cruise industry and Ketchikan.

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